Mexico goes to the polls


Mexicans go to the polls today to elect a new President, 500 members of Chamber of Deputies (lower house), 128 senators of the Senate or upper house, a Mayor for the City of Mexico and the governors of the states of Chiapas, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, Tabasco and Yucatan. There are also a number of local elections taking place.

Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which ruled the country for 71 years before being defeated in 2000 is the front runner to win the presidential election. He holds a 15% lead, according to the latest opinion polls over his two main rivals, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, of the centre-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and conservative Josefina Vázquez Mota, of the ruling National Action Party (PAN). A fourth candidate, Gabriel Ricardo Quadri de la Torre, of the New Alliance Party (PANAL) has no chance of winning the election with around 1.5% support.

The incumbent president, Felipe Calderón, of the National Action Party (PAN) is not permitted to stand again having served his one term in office.

The campaign has been dominated by corruption and the poor quality of jobs, low wages and closing businesses despite a booming economy. The drugs war which has killed an estimated 55,000 people in recent years has been avoided by all the candidates probably because they do not have any answers or solutions to the problem.

About 79.5 million of Mexico’s 114 million people are registered to vote and there is no second round of voting. Polling stations will open from 8am until 6 p.m. local time.

The new president will take office on December 1.

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